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English Saddle Pad

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In England, foxhunting grew in popularity (as the usual quarry of deer had dwindled following the English Civil War, when they were hunted for food). This required a new type of riding, as horse and rider now had to tackle fences, hedges, ditches, and banks straight on if they wished to keep up with the hounds and witness the kill. The old saddle was cumbersome while hunting. Its cantle would get in the way of the riders as they tried to lean back over the fence (a practice that was common until Caprilli developed the "forward seat"), and the high pommel created pain as the rider went over jumps. The resulting saddle developed for foxhunting had a very low pommel and cantle with a flat seat, and no padding under the leg, therefore providing the rider with little, if any, support. The stirrup bars were protruding, and placed more forward than modern saddles, which made it nearly impossible for the rider to keep his legs underneath his body. However, the usual practice was to ride with longer stirrups, and the feet pushed out in front, so this was not a problem.



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